Fans feeling ripped off file lawsuit over Pacquiao-Mayweather fight

You knew this was coming sure as you knew watching a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight would allow you ample food and bathroom breaks without fear of missing any significant action. You get what you pay for with Floyd.

Lots of free time.

(Not so) breaking news: The first lawsuit has been filed.

It might be just the beginning.

It might also be over before a deposition is taken.

Manny Pacquiao has been named in a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Las Vegas, an action that seeks damages because the fighter failed to disclose a right shoulder injury before engaging and losing to Mayweather on Saturday night in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Translation: The public has officially begun to exhibit its anger for what they believe was deception on the part of Pacquiao and his Top Rank promotional team, including chairman Bob Arum.

Simply, a lot of people think they were ripped off.

Whether it was purchasing tickets or the pay-per-view show or even making wagers on the fight, be certain others will now follow or join the lawsuit with charges of being misled. The plaintiffs who filed this week are seeking as much as $5 million in damages.

Yeah. Good luck with that.

There is enough precedent in such matters — see only the night Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear and litigious fans claimed they had not been treated to a legitimate heavyweight title fight — to make you believe this lawsuit has as much chance of succeeding as Freddie Roach and Floyd Mayweather Sr. vacationing together in the Bahamas.

“How do you get $5 million in damages from ($99.99) for the pay-per-view to watch a fight?” asked Steven Jaffe, senior partner at the law firm of Hall, Jaffe and Clayton. “I’m sure Bob Arum and his Top Rank lawyers will have a field day when the (plaintiffs) try and justify $5 million. I don’t see the connection between the demand and the damages, but I guess the lawyers will certainly have a chance to explore that. It’s up to them to prove damages. Wanting something and proving it isn’t always the same thing.”

I suppose everyone involved in the fight, from the Pacquiao camp to the Mayweather camp to those from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to Nevada Athletic Commission officials to the cable companies to doctors who treated Pacquiao to referee Kenny Bayless to Jimmy Kimmel to the Burger King man to Bieber, could be eventually deposed.

I sure hope Mayweather Sr. is.

I would pay $99.99 just to see the court reporter keep up with all the rhyming.

Medical records could be subpoenaed. It could be a lengthy process.

“All because,” Jaffe said, “(Pacquiao) didn’t check a box. This thing really has some far-reaching tentacles. This just scratches the surface. That’s the problem. It could turn into a bigger circus than the fight.”

Or a judge with an ounce of common sense could be assigned the case and immediately dismiss it.

It might be just as difficult for the NAC to bring disciplinary action against Pacquiao for perjury, even though he signed a sworn document claiming he had no injury to his shoulder. Intent is incredibly difficult to prove in these cases, and I’m guessing his lawyers would win that battle, if one even commences.

What are fans owed?

It has always been a subjective issue, with some believing the only people indebted anything are those owners who employ the athletes and those coaches who instruct them and those teammates who play alongside them. Others believe fans are owed everything, that without their financial investment in a team or game or, in this case a fight, the athlete is and has nothing.

If you paid to watch Mayweather-Pacquiao in person or on television, you were owed a championship fight. You got it. Not a great one. Not a terrible one. Not a thrilling one. Not a boring one.

Just a typical Mayweather one.

One of the biggest running jokes in sports is the weekly NFL injury report, where most teams never met a banged up player they didn’t deem as “questionable.” Can you imagine the number of lawsuits we would potentially have if everyone who paid to see a game or bet on an outcome used that report as evidence for being scammed?

I think there is a chance we have all been duped, that certain Twitter posts thought outlandish and silly during fight week — that Mayweather knew of Pacquiao’s injury and convinced him to fight with the promise of a rematch next year — might even be in play as truthful now.

Nothing seems preposterous any more.

No conspiracy theory seems too far-fetched.

Both sides might have been in on some elaborate plan all along to guarantee a second fight.

Why would that seem even the slightest bit insane given the last 72 hours?

Think about it: Have you ever seen a guy as happy and loose and care-free as Pacquiao was all week as the most important moment of his fighting career loomed? He almost replaced Buboy with Kimmel. Pacquiao took more selfies, some for a sponsor’s benefit, than the average 13-year old girl.

Then there is Mayweather. He insisted late Saturday night that he is retiring after his next fight in September.

On Tuesday, he texted an ESPN reporter that he would fight Pacquiao when the latter is healed next year.

You know, when Mayweather would likely be going for a 50-0 record and the new MGM Arena opens on the Strip.

Does anyone truly believe he doesn’t want 50 and to be the first act in that building? He has people within his camp signed to contracts for two more years, for goodness sake. Of course he wants it.

I think the lawsuit is silly, almost as foolish as Pacquiao claiming on that prefight form that he wasn’t hurt. I also believe the only thing an athlete owes us is his best effort, which Pacquiao gave in an injured state.

So when the rematch occurs next year and both sides claim they have lowered the pay-per-view cost as a show of faith to all their dedicated fans, do yourself a favor and proceed with caution when it comes to your wallet.

I’m not sure this thing was a complete scam, but I’m not certain it wasn’t, either.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. he can be heard on, “Seat and Ed,” on KRLV 1340 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.

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